ICF Advocates for Choice
Choice without Boundaries
We are a grassroots organizations of parents, family members and friends who advocate and educate for the preservation, promotion and protection of the Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) level of care in the Disability Service System for the health, safety, and welfare of our severely disabled loved ones who are medically fragile with IDD and behaviorally challenged with severe autism.
The sprawling campuses, open spaces, and on-site clinical staff at an ICF — the array of doctors, nurses, behaviorists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists — have few parallels in the so-called “community.” Campus amenities like pools, camping grounds, and gymnasiums offer safe and therapeutic havens for those with severe autism and medically fragile persons with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, ICF’s are required to provide “active treatment,” an interdisciplinary-mode of care focused on training, therapy and medical care; there is no such requirement for “community-based” services. From three shifts of 24/7 awake, highly trained and supervised staff, the professional administrators, the medical treatment team to the supporting personnel, the ICF has a reservoir of medical expertise and levels of watchful eyes that “community” services lack. When it is open to admissions and filled to appropriate capacity, the ICF takes advantage of economies of scale, allowing the costs associated with caring for the most severely disabled to be shared among a larger pool of residents, making this model the most economically feasible model of disability residential services in the system.
The ICF level of care in the Disability Service System for the profoundly disabled can be compared to the intensive care of an ICU in a hospital. No one would reasonably expect open heart surgery could be done in someone's living room in the "Community", so let's just close down all the hospital ICU's.
By eliminating the ICF level of disability care, the "Community" special interests are condemning are loved ones to the Outpatient Clinic or worse, the Waiting Room.
Community" services have failed many of our loved ones, leaving many injured, traumatized, physically and emotionally abused and dead. Without the ICF's, there is nowhere left for them to go, save the jails, retro-fitted emergency rooms and the streets.
It is our Mission to prevent such tragedies, save lives, offer a future and a hope to the most vulnerable, and protect the ICF's which are a lifeline to our loved ones.
Our vision is that States are no longer relentlessly pressured to close down every ICF by unrealistic and callous idealogues who are blind to the harsh reality of our loved ones needs and by special interests who benefit financially by only offering a federally unregulated, one-size-fits all cottage industry of substandard care in isolated apartments and houses.
Our vision is that individuals can access the specialized long-term services and supports that offer them the best quality of life, health and safety, that their aging parents can live with the assurance that their loved ones will be well taken care of even after they die.
Our vision is that families no longer have to ship their severely disabled loved ones great distances away, because all appropriate care has been eliminated in their state or suffer tremendous financial deprivation to try to cobble together services from a fragmented system or lose their jobs, their marriages and their health trying to care for their severely disabled loved ones 24/7 alone isolated at home or with largely, only unsupervised, unskilled, untrained home health workers.